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Japan proposing feed-in-tariff for renewables

Matsukawa geothermal power plant, Iwate, Japan (source: Si-take, Commons/ Wikimedia)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 24 Mar 2010

Japanese trade ministry panel proposed expanding the feed-in tariff to require utilities to buy electricity at a premium from hydropower stations, wind turbine and geothermal operators, at a rate of 17-26 US cents/ kWh.

Reported from Japan, “A Japanese trade ministry panel proposed expanding the feed-in tariff to require utilities to buy electricity at a premium from hydropower stations, wind turbine and geothermal operators.

Utilities may have to buy renewable power at between 15 yen (17 cents) and 20 yen a kilowatt hour, according to a report released in Tokyo today. The incentive program would run for between 10 and 20 years, it said.

The government wants to supply 10 percent of the country’s primary energy from renewable sources by 2020, compared with about 3 percent in 2007, according to the International Energy Agency. The proposed tariff compares with 5 to 7 yen a kilowatt hour utilities pay for nuclear power and about 8 yen for oil- fired generation, said Tomohiro Jikihara, an analyst at Deutsche Securities Inc. in Tokyo.

“The rate for renewable power, except for solar, should be as high as 20 yen if Japan really wants to boost the use of alternative fuels,” Jikihara said by phone.

Japan introduced a feed-in tariff in November, requiring utilities to buy surplus solar power supplied to the grid by homes and businesses, and pay as much as 48 yen a kilowatt hour.

Japan Wind Development Co. and Japan Power Development Co., known as J-Power, are among companies operating wind farms and geothermal plants. Tokyo Electric Power Co. and nine other regional utilities supply almost all the country’s power.”

Source: Business Week